Secret Passions

Okay, I admit it, one of my guilty pleasures is watching the Food Network. Iron Chefs, Jamie Oliver, and Good Eats lured me to the channel - even if most of those shows have disappeared. So, not long ago I was proud and happy to see one of the country's leading icons of cooking and caring come to Chapel Hill, for 24 hours. Rachel Ray. Not a huge fan, although she does grow on you quickly, but I must be the only one who isn't a huge fan. Rachel Ray has several cooking shows, a talk show, magazines.

I'm back - I'm ticked off - and here's why

I wondered what it would take to enrage me enough to get back to blogging. For almost six months, I've sat on the political sidelines. Working hard at work, paying attention to my neglected family, and generally keeping my head down. Something finally has pissed me off enough to get back at it. I'm sure you'll be surprised to read that it was something the Bush Administration did. Below the fold, read why General Petraeus, September 11, and the third anniversary of my Grandfather's death combined to send me over the edge when a rightwinger questioned my patriotism because of my politics. I'm sick of it. And I'm finally mad enough to get back into the game. Cross-posted at The Stinging Nettle which is back in business.

I won't be there

I had been looking forward to the big event tonight: my friend Tim is hosting a fundraiser for Speaker Joe Hackney here in Chapel Hill.

When I signed on to be a sponsor a couple of weeks ago, it looked like cause for celebration. The General Assembly mostly did a decent job this summer, and Speaker Hackney showed the kind of leadership we should have had all along in the House.

And then the Great Goodyear Giveaway came onto center stage.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the North Carolina Legislature today will consummate a deal made with the devil to give a couple hundred million dollars to a few big manufacturers for no good reason. Easley vetoed the original bill, and Speaker Hackney pulled out the stops to produce a "compromise" - which is an even bigger giveaway than the one originally planned.

Nobody's asking for my opinion, but I'm giving it anyway: This legislation sucks.

I've already written my check for the fundraiser, and I won't be asking for it back. A deal's a deal. But in my own small way, I'll be protesting. By writing this post. And by taking a pass on the big party tonight. Because amidst all the back-slapping and bullshitting that goes on at events like this, simply being there offers an implied endorsement. And I definitely do not approve.

Major McHenry '04 funds from fraudulent donor

Delay-related funding almost $200,000, nearly 20% of McHenry's campaign total

Also, two major in-district fundraisers reportedly under investigation for Medicaid fraud [scroll to bottom for this one]

And while CharO covered the FEC lawsuit settlement by Citizen's Club for Growth, they failed to mention the nearly $200,000 of McHenry's 04 $923,795 came from the Delay-related funding.

Open thread: New trends in health care

More and more employers are turning to healthcare surcharges to push workers into losing weight. Next thing you know, they'll be doing DNA tests to predict all sorts of diseases - and charging high-risk individuals even more for coverage.

If your daddy blew his brains out ten years ago because he was depressed, you're gonna pay an arm and a leg for modern health insurance. Even if you pretend like you're happy. They'll know all about you, and they won't want you to get your Zoloft prescription without paying your fair share into the kitty. Mark my words.

Auditor Wanted

Editorial, Charlotte Observer

Les Merritt appears to be having a hard time understanding that voters in 2004 elected him to be N.C. State Auditor -- not State Auditor and Private Financial Adviser, and not State Auditor and Four Oaks Bank Board Member.

Mr. Merritt, a Republican, did step out of his investment adviser business after a flap over his divided loyalties, but when political watchdog Joe Sinsheimer questioned his decision to be a director of Four Oaks Bank in Zebulon, Auditor Merritt said he would accept no money from the bank and intended to remain on the board.

Front-paged by Anglico


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